By Sebastian Sternik
With only a few weeks to go until the start of the new season, the Castleford Tigers Ladies face a tough test when they welcome Thatto Heath Ladies to the Castleford Academy on Sunday.
Thatto are the current English and European champions and head coach Marc Simon is looking forward to the game. He said: “It will be a challenge for both teams. We are looking forward to the game as we continue to prepare for the summer season.”
Asked whether Thatto will be fielding a strong side, Simon replied: “We are going to play our emerging players and then finish with our best team.”
Thatto are not only preparing for the start of the new season but the team is also a few weeks away from defending their European Challenge Championship title. The Lancashire side will take on Rugby XIII Biganos on April 9 in France.
Castleford, on the other hand, are continuing to build ahead of their inaugural season in the women’s Super League. In their first pre-season friendly, the Tigresses were on the wrong side of a 38-8 defeat to Featherstone Rovers.
Ahead of Sunday’s match with Thatto, the Castleford head coach, Lindsay Anfield, said: “It was good to have a tough first game against Featherstone last Sunday as the girls clearly got to see what level we need to be aspiring to be at.
“We go again this weekend with another good week of training behind us. I’m sure the girls will want to improve on that performance especially in defence.”
Katie Hepworth scored both of Castleford’s two tries in the loss to Featherstone and has remained positive despite the loss. She said: “The game against Featherstone didn’t go the way we wanted but we can build from this and move forward as a team.”
With a ton of experience under their belt, Thatto Heath will be seen as the favourites ahead of this fixture. However, the scoreline might not be the most important element of this game as both coaches concentrate on the performance of their respective sides.